This past week has been a welcome break after months of working on Caveman Craig for Steam. We’ve been so happy to receive all the positive reviews of the game and Let’s Play videos, and the privilege of having a game on Steam is itself a reward.
For those who’ve been following us over the years, you’ll know that we are not as active as many game developers tend to be. In fact, game development is an after hours thing for us. Tim and I balance full time jobs in I.T Administration and Animation, respectively. On top of that comes family & social life, involvement in the Church, and other hobbies and ventures. Our energy in game development comes in hot bursts, with long cool periods. It’s probably not the right way to run a business, and there’s admittedly an amount of consistency we need to achieve, but that’s what happens when you have 10 fingers and a lot of pies.
I promised myself that following the release of Caveman Craig, I would take a well earned break from game development (with the exception of supporting the game with bug fix updates and public relations) and focus on my still very non-established music vein.
So the past week has felt like a game dev detox, as I perform all the cleaning tasks too menial to bother doing when there was a time-sensitive stack of jobs to do on the computer. Now the house is clean, my brain is clean, and my office is clean and primed for music composition!
Here’s a shot of my game dev office, which doubles as a mini recording studio. Some highlights for those who are interested include…
- Mechanical “DAS” Keyboard. Still works beautifully after many years of service, except the USB hub smells like an electrical fire.
- Windows Surface RT which is capable of doing pretty much zero, but using SplashTop actually works has a handy substitute for a second display. When I need to fill my screen with code or notes, the Surface works nicely as a reference screen – to read a document off, or have a youtube video passively there when I get bored.
- MacBook Pro Retina 15″ – Man, I love Apple laptops. I hate to say it, but if it weren’t for GameMaker, Games, and my DAW of choice, I’d be all Mac. Anyway, having this laptop off to the side is useful for testing Mac builds of games and fiddling with Logic Studio. It also hooks up to the monitor as a second source for when I’m focusing on Mac-related work. Plus I take it around with me everywhere I go.
- The desk – the main desk is a simple but elegant unit from OfficeWorks, so nothing special. The desk raiser on which I sit my display & studio monitors (and under which I store bits and pieces) was actually a lucky find at work which was no longer needed, and it fits nicely with the desk. The space on the main desk usually houses a bunch of tablets that we use for testing apps, or the MIDI keyboard if I need to get more hands on with it & the DAW.
So what’s next for Parabox?
Years ago we announced that we’d decided on some new projects – Nightbear and Stadium Builder. Nightbear had some concept art put together and we had many conversations about the design of the game, but the teddy was ultimately shelved because we realised we had to approach it from a different angle. Meanwhile, Stadium Builder had gone some way as you might have seen on youtube years back, but then we lost the project files amidst technical difficulties. Some progress had been made to get that project running again.
These games are still interesting ideas for us, and over the past few years we’ve also toyed with other concepts. Tim and I will need to meet sometime soon to work out the future of Parabox. We need to reconcile the gap between what we love making, what we have time for, and what is feasible as a business.
And we’ll endeavour to keep you informed along the way!